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Kevin Thomas van Bladel
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
The Arabic Hermetica: A Missing Link in the History of Ancient and Medieval Science

The Hermetica are a group of ancient texts dealing with philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and other pre-modern experimental sciences. They have been of incalculable influence since they first appeared in Roman Egypt (1st-3rd centuries CE). What is not so well known is that the Hermetica available in Europe, which became so influential, are partly translations from numerous Arabic Hermetica. My project for next summer is to collect and survey as many of these manuscripts as possible through microfilms and photocopies of the manuscripts ordered from the libraries holding them. This collection of data, expensive though it is, will serve as a basis for numerous editions and other studies, making possible an entirely new area of research in the reception of ancient Greek thought and intellectual history in general.

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2007 – 7/31/2007